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43 posts from March 2009

March 31, 2009

Platinum Style Green Home Renovation

Platinum-exterior

Just look at the before and after photos of this green home and you'll see a couple critical renovation strategies: (1) get rid of water-sucking grass without making your landscaping look crazy, and (2) keep the same size and scale of your home rather than building it into a monstrosity.  This home, located at 8020 S.W. Elmwood Street in Southwest Portland, is expected to receive the rare designation of LEED Platinum certification and is now listed for sale at $850,000.  Here are some of its green elements:

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Architects Are Creating 'Killing Machines'

William McDonough

William McDonough* has always been a beacon and true voice of environmental leadership, despite what a recent magazine article may be trying to say.  Case in point, just last week he warned of a lop-sided focus on carbon during his keynote speech at the ParkCity conference in London (organized by Cabe and Natural England).  If you've ever listened to Mr. McDonough, you know his speeches are captivating -- there's always a lot worth remembering -- but in this most recent keynote, one particular sound bite has been making the internet rounds.  He likened buildings to "killing machines:"

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PTI: Sub-$300 Green Office Chair?

Pardon the interruption, but I thought I would tap into the collective knowledge of readers for a little assistance. We've mentioned some awesome office chairs in the past, including the Zody and Embody, but I need some tips on a sub-$300 green task chair. My non-blogging, old school office chair went gimp a few months back with a broken leg. I kept using it because I was still getting by (and I like to really wear the hell out of stuff before replacing it), but a second leg just broke, so I need to get going on something new. I'm looking for something conservative (i.e., black or neutral) in this price range, preferably available in Salt Lake City, but I'll ship, if necessary. And I'd like it to be green, too, meaning made of recycled materials, made is a green factory, recyclable, etc.  What do you know?  Links, emails, suggestions?

Two Portland Habitat for Humanity Homes Seeking LEED Platinum

Portland-leed-platinum

There's a conundrum in the green building world that a lot of people are working on.  They're trying to figure out how to building homes that are both sustainable and affordable -- homes that most of us can approach.  I could rattle off a list of folks working on this, and Habitat for Humanity would certainly be at the top.  We just mentioned how a Michigan branch of Habitat for Humanity designed and built a LEED Platinum affordable home; and now according to The Oregonian, two Habitat homes in Portland are seeking LEED Platinum certification.  The goal with these homes, like the Michigan home, was to test out various green strategies and technology for affordability.  Here's a little more background:

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March 29, 2009

Smaller Homes, Sustainable Cities, Eco Blight, + Thinking Negawatts

Week in Review

Follow @jetsongreen on Twitter for more news, links, and commentary.

March 27, 2009

Simple Post and Beam Prefab: Live Edge

One-bedroom-prototype

It's fascinating to see the many and various forms created by prefab construction.  In this case, Live Edge and Paul Discoe are using a Japanese post and beam system of construction (see bottom two images) to create somewhat traditional (but clean) and warm prefab homes.  These homes are absolutely beautiful and built using reclaimed urban trees, which are removed for disease, storm damage, danger of falling, or construction clearing, etc.  The home pictured above is Live Edge's one-bedroom prototype, and the one immediately below is a two-bedroom home. 

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The Affordable LEED Platinum Habitat for Humanity House

Habitat for Humanity - LEED Platinum

This classic American home is the end result of smart planning, high performance materials, and passive design techniques.  Designed on a $100,000 dollar budget by the Michigan firm of Dominick Tringali Architects, the project is set to be a prototype for the next generation of Habitat for Humanity homes.  Lets take a closer look...

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March 26, 2009

Swede Hill Luxury LEED Home

Swedehillhouse

Design/build firm Aquidneck Fine Properties is getting ready for their next project called Swede Hill.  Designed by Estes/Twombly, the green home will be planted on an incredible patch of ocean-front land on Block Island, Rhode Island.  Aquidneck is seeking LEED Silver for the 3000 square foot home, which will be complete a little over a year from now.  I thought it would be nice to preview Swede Hill, since many of our readers favor the less modern of green homes.  In any event, here are some of the planned green features:

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March 25, 2009

Stillwater Dwellings Launches Green Contemporary Prefab Homes

Stillwater-dwelling

If you didn't already know, or couldn't already tell, we're seriously interested in the prefab world.  Showing off new companies and innovative homes is what we do, so it's our pleasure to talk about a relatively new company on the scene: Stillwater Dwellings.  The Seattle-based company was founded by two architects and one builder/developer about eight months ago, and they're going to break ground on the first home in Bend, Oregon this month.  Stillwater put a lot of work into elucidating the "all-in" construction costs of a home, and they're targeting prices in the range of $130 - 195 psf -- quite competitive really for the prefab market.  They also have a refreshing philosophy about how to do things; these are their fundamental beliefs:

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New Survey: Consumers Want to Save Money Not the Planet

20bill

The Shelton Group just published results of a January 2009 telephone survey of 500 people, and the basic idea is this: Consumers are more interested in saving money than they are in saving the planet.  When asked why they would consider buying energy-efficient products, 71% said they would do it to save money, 55% to save the environment, and 49% to protect the quality of life for future generations.  With the economy as it is, the results aren't surprising, but in prior years, consumers actually said they were primarily interested in saving the environment. 

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